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Chic Critique is THE elite magazine, community, & resource for women who love photography (yes, we’re biased!)
Our mission: critique | confidence | community
Get your CHIC on with our Celebrity Photographers who inspire, teach, and critique to help increase confidence and improve your images!


We continue to  feature our fabulous Celebrity Photographer, Abbey Kyhl today!  

We hope her photos inspire you, and don’t forget that you can get your WEBSITE critiqued by Abbey in August!

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Don’t miss your chance to get your photos critiqued by Abbey starting August 11th!  



FREE 5-Day Summer Sanity Facebook Group & Webinar!

by Kelli France | Editor-in-Chief


Are you going CRAY-CRAY trying to work from home this summer?

Join me for a Free 5-Day SUMMER SANITY BootCamp Facebook Group starting July 14-18.

I’ll be sharing nuggets of wisdom I have learned from working from home for 12 years with 4 kids.


Then, on Fri July 18th at 1 pm Central (aka naptime!) I’ll be sharing even more during a LIVE webinar






Guest Contributor | Abbey Kyhl

Today we are featuring an article from our Celebrity Photography, Abbey Kyhl, that you won’t want to miss!  I think we have all been here before!  See how Abbey deals with balancing work and family and don’t forget to sign up to get your WEBSITE critiqued by Abbey this August.

Look at these three…how could anyone ever say “no” to them? They are so adorable, so loving, and so simply wonderful to be around. And they are hungry for my time and attention. They can’t get enough of me. Along with their wonderful daddy, there is no one in the world they would rather spend their time with. They want to play Legos with me, they want to read stories with me, they want me to rock them in my arms, and they want to spend their every waking minute right by my side.

But there was a point in time when I did say “no” to them. All the time in fact. “Not right now. In a minute. Hold on” were words that came out of my mouth dozens of times during the day. And then there for a minute, they started to lose faith in me, and it wasn’t me that they wanted to be around anymore…

When my oldest was about 5 years old he took a little hip hop class that had two recitals in the year. Because his first recital wasn’t scheduled months in advance like my weddings were, I missed it. Daddy was there, my assistant was there, but mommy was working. So for his next recital I made huge efforts to make sure I could be there. I wasn’t going to miss this one. But I never told him that, he was five, he wouldn’t understand how much effort I put into being there for him. So one afternoon I could hear him chatting with my assistant in the other room while I was busy emailing, editing, blogging, posting on social media and doing more work than I knew how to handle. I heard him say to her, “Will you come see me dance hip hop?” She, of course, said she would. But then the next thing that came out of his mouth were the most painful words I have ever heard in my life…”Oh good, because my mommy won’t be there. She will be working.

My heart sank. My five year old had lost faith in me to show up for him. To be there for him. He was so desperate to be with me, even when it meant him sitting on the floor next to me playing puzzles while I worked, but I wasn’t putting that same energy into being there for him. Something had to change…

In fact, just about everything needed to change. I get asked all the time by photographers that I work with how I manage it all. How do I have a successful business and still have time for my family? How do I take off as much time as I do and still keep busy and profitable? How do I get things done without working every minute of the day? Along with figuring out a really great workflow and system for managing my time (but that’s another blog post…in fact its the basis of my whole workshop), one of the biggest contributing factors is simple…I learned to say “No.”

This concept, this idea of saying “no” to clients was one of the biggest stepping stones to taking back my life and in turn taking my business to a whole new level. Think about all the strangers you are saying “yes” to in your business. People you don’t know. People who aren’t loyal to you. But you say “yes” to because of the fear of what would happen if you said “no”, even though you know you should.

When I first started my business, and many of us do this, we say “yes” to everyone. Yes, to sessions we know aren’t our style. Yes, to sessions we know we don’t have time to do. Yes, to clients we know aren’t a good fit for us. Yes, to prices that we know aren’t making us any money. Yes, yes, yes…I think because we are afraid that if we say “no” to anyone, those clients will tell their friends, and pretty soon we will have no business. So we say “no” to our families, a lot. But I can honestly tell you, when you start to say “yes” to the right things and “no” to the wrong things, you will find you have more business than you know what to do with. But then you gain the power to create the type of business you dreamed of.

And here is the crazy part, the part I will get up and pour out my heart and soul out to you for as long as you would listen. When you put your family first, when you say “yes” to them first, your business becomes something so amazing. More than you could ever dream it could be. I don’t say “yes” to every person that contacts me anymore, because I say “yes” to my family first, and they need and want me a lot. I schedule my time with them first. I am not available ever hour of the day anymore. I no longer come back from vacations a day early or cancel them completely for a client.

But the clients I do say “yes” to I say it 110%. I don’t commit to everyone, so those that I do commit to I can give more time and attention and create a great relationship with them. I can be available to them the way they need me to be as well. Brides now become friends. And friends value your family. They understand how important t-ball games and basketball practices are. They understand how important taking a summer break with your kids is, because there are so few of those in a lifetime. They want you to be able to be a good mom. They support you in that. And so they are willing to be flexible, because they know that when you are giving them your time, you are giving them your very best. And they understand how much I care about them as well, how much I want for everything about their photos to be amazing, and that now because I have the time to be an amazing mom, I also have the time, energy, and heart to do everything I can to make sure that what I am giving to them is just as wonderful. So yes, there are still days when I have to be away from my family, and I can’t always be with them. But those days are not as big of a deal anymore. Because I am here. I am here for them when they need me, and many times when they don’t, just sitting her quietly wanting them grow and falling in love with them even more. So I can have the best of both worlds. Being a great mom and being a great business owner.

I tell my workshop students this a lot…When you say “yes” to things you know you shouldn’t…you are saying “no” to the most important things in your life. And look at these three, how could you ever say “no” to them? I know I can’t. And now because I’m as committed to them, as I am to all my wonderful brides and clients, everything is working out pretty splendidly…better than splendid in fact. Its better than I could have ever dreamed…

…until next time…I have a baby who needs snuggling.

Sign up to get your WEBSITE critiqued by Abbey this August.  

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